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Comment Hello Mr. victim (Score 1, Funny) 115

Hello Mr. victim. It is me, Steffen van der Hast-Gracht of the Amsterdam police. Wiz my partner and also I am very happy to say my lover Ronald. I am terribly sorry to inform you zat you haf bin vukked ofer ze Internet by some ferry dubious person stemming from Ze Nezerlands. Vee haf already prepared ze forms for you to fill in so zat you can claim insurance, psychological help and absent time from yor wurk. Vee also made petition on ze Internet for you to arrange a silent march over ze canals. You ken bye flowers from my nephew but if you don't want or you don't like also from any other shop. Yes. End may I infite you for a romantic evening with you, your partners, our dogs and a few convicted drug dealers zat reely reely promise to take ze right path very soon.

Comment Re:Defies the purpose of competition (Score 1) 127

Lets's assume a two classes world. Like you suggest, the upper class is security walled and can easily travel between compounds. The lower class in lawless areas outside the the walls.

I claim such a schema will not endure. There inevitably will be times when the upper class needs the lower class but can no longer access it. In the end the upper class will actually feel locked out and abandoned. No genuine external impulses will cause intellectual inbreeding. Attending a court with slave jesters as entertainment gets boring pretty soon. The tedious intelligentsia will either cause the tide to turn or will be eliminated and the next wave of smart people will have another go.

Not a scenario I'd be happy to have tested out. But in the long term this is what it would amount to IMHO.

Don't take it from me. Look at examples in the presence and in history, where cliques thought they deserved a garden of Eden. It never, ever works out well.

Comment Re:Emergency response (Score 1) 139

The flying car, as it could be made with today's technology, is just a novel alternative to a helicopter, as you point out (or perhaps a "roadable aircraft"). They'll suffer from all the same problems of the aircraft that people aren't already using, including the cost to own and run one.

But most people don't think of it that way. Most people think of the flying car as a poorly thought out idea from a cartoon. It'll be just like a regular car except you can get away from traffic by moving up or down! It would solve the problem of traffic congestion!

Unfortunately this idea is so far from attainable with today's technology that nobody alive today will live to see it. They'll need Star Trek batteries to carry a large amount of affordable power running affordable motors, first and foremost. The average person is already struggling to buy and run a small number of relatively very pedestrian combustion engines, they can't afford anything that has multiple exotic forms of the damn things ferociously guzzling precious fuel.

Comment Defies the purpose of competition (Score 1) 127

This defies the purpose of competition. As a competitor you're looking to improve your unique proposition, increase quality, lower costs, improve your dependency position with clients and suppliers. Saving on humans checks quite a few boxes. Following Nadella will weaken your strategic position. Artificially slowing down development serves the sneaky bastards that are now developing

In the middle long term companies that do exactly that will thrive. In the long term we'll all need to drastically re-evaluate our economy.

I haven't got an inkling -let alone an answer- as to what will matter when push comes to shove. The powers that be will not allow chaos to happen. At the same time we can't have a population of 90% poor people -made redundant by AI-, 9.9% of the people installing AI and robotics (until even that work dries out) and 0.1% wealthy people that actually feel entitled.

Comment Re:Roundup backpack=bad ? (Score 5, Interesting) 129

The problem is that neonicotinoids are about as close to an ideal insecticide as we could hope to have. They're effective on a broad spectrum of insects, they don't harm plants, and they're really quite safe around mammals. For example, dinotefuran has an oral and dermal LD50 in rats of > 2000mg/kg, is not known to be carcinogenic, and is not known to be a neurotoxin. It's also essentially non-toxic to birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates (important because of chemical run-off.) I'm not saying I'd sprinkle it on my breakfast cereal, but I wouldn't get sick from it.

They just happen to be 50 times as lethal to bees as to any other insect. So even the lowest doses used to control economically damaging pests are still going to kill huge numbers of bees, because the tainted nectar and pollen that comes back with the bees feeds the colonies.

I really like the stuff for INDOOR control of greenhouse pests. Outdoors, I won't use it.

Comment Re:Thanks, Obama! (Score 0) 205

That isn't sticking up for your principles unless one of your principles is to spew gratuitous Islamophobia until the terrorism stops. The number of people in the US who actually want sharia law can probably be counted on your fingers, and won't be dissuaded if every conversation in America is peppered with Islamophobic jargon. Quite the opposite in fact.

Comment Re:More prospective (Score 1) 111

Which Sovietistan was that? I'm pretty sure that you did not grow up in Sweden, where a doctor visit to my neighbourhood clinic costs me about US$15, and my wife's night in the hospital a few years ago ran us about US$75.

And in the US, you have (at least in theory) a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Which pretty much disqualifies inadequate/inaccessible/prohibitively expensive medical care, since those things are impossible to achieve without being in reasonably good health.

Nor does it make good sense to subject your population to economic enslavement as a condition of maintaining good health. The only reason it's lasted as long as it has in the US is that pharmaceutical/medical/insurance companies are allowed to get away with it.

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